Our Ocean Portal Educators’ Corner provides you with activities, lessons and educational resources to bring the ocean to life for your students. We have collected top resources from our collaborators to provide you with teacher-tested, ocean science materials for your classroom. We hope these resources, along with the rich experience of the Ocean Portal, will help you inspire the next generation of ocean stewards.
Featured Lesson Plans
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Find lessons/activities by topic, title or grade levels. Sort by newest or alphabetically. Lessons were developed by ocean science and education organizations like NOAA, COSEE, and NMEA to help you bring the ocean to your classroom.
To introduce students to ocean currents and the transport of marine debris, spilled oil, and other pollutants in the ocean.
The rise and fall of the ocean tides is a predictable phenomenon influenced by the gravitational pull of the sun and moon. Here, students will learn about how tides are measured and predicted so that they can then create a presentation for fifth and sixth graders about the topic. Students will also become familiar with publically available data that anyone can use to study the tides.
National Geographic Xpeditions
This lesson introduces students to latitude and longitude. They will look at lines of latitude and longitude on a United States map and discuss the reasons why these lines are helpful. Students will also discuss the ways that temperatures vary with latitude and will explain the clothes they might wear at specific latitudes.
NOAA Ocean Explorer
Students describe alternative theories for arrival of first humans to come to America. Students explain evidence for these theories and explain how exploration of a submerged segment of Gulf Of Mexico coast may give insight into origin of native Americans. Students describe role of skepticism in scientific theory.
NOAA Ocean Service
What discoveries and human benefits have resulted from exploration of the Earth’s deep oceans? Students will be able to describe at least three human benefits that have resulted from explorations of the Earth’s deep oceans. Students will be able to identify separate examples of Ocean Exploration expeditions focused on historical, biological, and physical features of the Earth’s deep oceans.
This supplement was developed for university level students, but can be adapted for middle and high school students. This supplement to Oceanography Magazine focuses on educational approaches to help engage students in learning and offers a collection of hands-on/minds-on activities for teaching physical concepts that are fundamental in oceanography. These key concepts include density, pressure, buoyancy, heat and temperature, and gravity waves.
NOAA Ocean Explorer
A curriculum for teachers of Grades 6-12 that takes lesson plans that were developed for NOAA Voyages of Discovery and the Ocean Explorer Web Site and presents them in a comprehensive scope and sequence through subject area categories that cut across individual expeditions.
Massachusetts Marine Educators
Students analyze maps of shipping lanes and whale sightings to devise a new shipping lane through the Stellwagon Bank National Marine Sanctuary to minimize ship strikes on whales.
Sealaska Heritage Institute
Students will learn about the legend of the raven in the oral traditions and culture of the Tlingit and other Native groups along the Northwest Coast of the US. In this lesson, students will learn how the raven is often portrayed as creator and trickster, and was used to teach lessons to native children in the Northwest.
WETA/PBS Marine Fisheries and Aquaculture Series
Students design and conduct research to discover firsthand what type of fish is being sold in their community, where this fish comes from, and whether that fish is an overfished species. This lesson gives students a chance to do their own market research and discover first-hand what type of fish is being sold to the public. It also provides an introduction to fish as an important food source and as an industry controlled partly by supply and demand. The results that emerge from this lesson will likely lead your students to question the role of public education in seafood choices for sustainable fisheries.